Waterloo, RRR Bar reach agreement

Attorneys for the City of Waterloo and Uncle John’s RRR Bar reached an agreement late last week that resulted in the bar’s liquor license being renewed with a 10-day suspension and controls put in place. 

The liquor license renewal process, which takes place June 30 annually for all establishments selling alcohol products, was a subject of debate due to recent noise complaints and other alleged issues at the bar, located at 141 S. Main Street near the courthouse in the heart of downtown.

The license suspension for RRR Bar is from July 1-10. 

Stipulations agreed upon by both parties, as obtained via Freedom of Information Act request, include RRR staff refraining from “using demeaning, mocking or insulting language, or exhibiting other similar behavior toward the City of Waterloo, its agents and the public generally.”

As part of the conditional approval of its liquor license through June 30, 2023, RRR managers and employees are also to refrain from becoming intoxicated while working on the premises. The bar must also disable its front exterior speakers and remain in compliance with city noise standards in regard to its exterior patio speakers. In addition, RRR Bar must comply with all federal, state and local laws, regulations and ordinances. 

As part of this agreement, the alleged violations of the state’s Liquor Control Act and Waterloo’s city ordinances against RRR Bar and its agents are withdrawn.

The agreement was reached prior to a scheduled Thursday afternoon “public hearing and examination under oath regarding (the) liquor license issued to RRR Bar” set to take place at City Hall.

Attorneys representing RRR Bar spoke during a June 16 meeting of Waterloo’s liquor advisory committee at City Hall. 

Waterloo Mayor Pro-Tem Clyde Heller, who is serving in place of Mayor Tom Smith as he recovers from a stroke, appointed a liquor advisory committee of aldermen Russ Row Jr. and Jim Trantham and city attorney Natalie Steppig to review and make recommendations for annual liquor licenses issued in Waterloo. 

The decision for renewal or non-renewal was ultimately up to Heller, however. 

During that June 16 meeting, many aldermen voiced concerns with RRR Bar, especially behavior toward Waterloo police officers.

Alderman Steve Notheisen said at this meeting that “every one of the aldermen wanted to see (RRR’s license) taken away” following the recent incidents.

Attorneys Jack Strellis and Amanda Chase told committee members and other aldermen present that night on behalf of RRR Bar that it acknowledged problems in the past but the bar was hoping to “reach a plateau of a clean slate.”

In a paid advertisement that appears in this week’s paper, James and Jered Gallagher of RRR Bar state a public apology for “discomfort to neighboring businesses or community members” for recent behavior while pointing out their disagreement with the police tactics of one officer in dealing with them over the years.

“Following the dismissal of all allegations against RRR Bar, it is our sincere hope that we can work cooperatively with the city and police administration. We have made contributions to law enforcement 22 times over the last five years and will continue to invest in their good work. We are pro-police and pro-Waterloo. We always will be,” the Gallaghers wrote.

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